Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has provided an update on Neymar’s wellbeing, as the French champions look ahead to a crucial couple of weeks on the domestic front, and the 2nd-leg of their Champions League showdown with Barcelona.
The Mbappe show
The highlight of the return of Europe’s premiere club competition to screens across the globe this past week of course came in the form of PSG’s Last-16 first-leg meeting with Barca.
The matchup obviously marked a high-profile one due to the respective clubs’ status amongst European football’s elite, but also represented so much more than that.
One of the most memorable two-legged ties in the history of the Champions League was played out between the Blaugrana and Parisians back in 2017, when the former recovered from a 4-0 defeat to remarkably book their spot in the quarter-finals courtesy of a 6-1 victory in the return leg.
Tension has also long been rife between the boards of the Spanish and French heavyweights, due to a combination of Neymar’s world-record Parc des Princes transfer, and PSG’s insistence on making their interest in Lionel Messi public.
When all was said and done at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night, though, there was only one of the two clubs left standing tall – PSG.
A dominant display on the part of the visitors eventually saw Mauricio Pochettino’s men emerge on the right side of a 4-1 scoreline.
After Lionel Messi opened the scoring in Catalunya, Kylian Mbappe simply took over, notching a hat-trick, alongside a Moise Kean effort, to all-but book PSG’s spot in the Champions League’s quarter-finals:
In his first game at Camp Nou, and his first time facing Barcelona…
Kylian Mbappe completes a wonderful hat-trick with a SUBLIME finish 🤩
We are witnessing greatness! pic.twitter.com/7uc84LQ2nE
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 16, 2021
Despite the one-sided nature of the eventual scoreline at the Camp Nou, however, memories of the aforementioned Barcelona comeback of four years ago will no doubt remain crystal clear in the minds of the PSG faithful.
As such, the Ligue 1 champions will need to remain clued in for the tie’s 2nd leg (set to take place on the 10th of March) to assure that history does not repeat itself.
One major boost to the prospects of Mauricio Pochettino’s men would of course therefore be the return of the club’s star man, in the form of Neymar.
The Brazilian missed Tuesday’s clash, after picking up a muscular injury during PSG’s meeting with Caen earlier this month.
And though he appears to be progressing well in his attempts to return to the pitch as soon as possible, as confirmed by Pochettino this evening, Neymar nevertheless looks set to miss out against his former club once again in two-and-a-half weeks’ time:
Mauricio Pochettino offered an update on #Neymar‘s return from injury:
“Neymar’s recovery is proceeding quite normally,” he said.
The Brazil star should be back in around 3 weeks.
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) February 20, 2021
Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has provided an update on Neymar’s wellbeing, as the French champions look ahead to a crucial couple of weeks on the domestic front, and the 2nd-leg of their Champions League showdown with Barcelona.The Mbappe showThe highlight of the return of Europe’s premiere club competition to screens across the globe thisFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed